Hummus – a much loved Middle Eastern dish

Posted on 3 min read

When travelling across the Middle East, one can never fall short of places to eat hummus. It’s served in internationally acclaimed restaurants to small family-run humussias. Here, chefs are proud to serve this savoury dip to their customers.

Chickpeas have been cultivated in this region for thousands of years. But hummus (as we know it today) was first mentioned in the 12th century.

Dispute about the invention of hummus

This dish has only 5 main ingredients: mashed chickpeas, garlic, tahini (sesame paste), olive oil and lemon juice. And pretty much every Middle Eastern country claims it as its own invention.

In 2008 Lebanon filed a case against Israel for misappropriating hummus. It was allegedly a “part” of Arabic culture and certainly not Israeli.

This incident became a hot topic for many. The film “Make hummus, not war” was inspired by this incident.

Lebanon and Israel were trying to outperform each other by making the biggest hummus bowls. But the world agreed that hummus belongs not to a particular country but to people who love to eat it.

Let’s make hummus and not war!

If you love this dip and hate war, let’s make hummus together!

There are two ways to prepare hummus. The difference lies in the time you have. You can either cook hummus entirely from scratch. Or use some common shortcuts.

Using a high-speed blender will undoubtedly come in handy. However, traditionally chickpeas are mashed by hand.

The main ingredients for hummus

Do you like to be as authentic as possible? Then you have to soak the chickpeas overnight. Afterwards, boil them for an hour before mashing them.

Tahini is another main ingredient in hummus. And if you have sesame seeds, it can be made at home. However, if you like to speed up, store-bought canned chickpeas and tahini are usually the same good. And it will save you hours of preparation.

Prepare your own hummus dip

  1. Drain and rinse 250 g / 1,5 cup of canned chickpeas and transfer them to a high-speed blender.
  2. Pour in 70 g / 1/3 cup of tahini, 2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice, a clove or two of garlic and a pinch of salt. Blend the ingredients until you get a smooth paste.
  3. While the blender is running, gradually add some cold water. This gives hummus that nice creamy texture.

To make the hummus your own, try adding spices like cumin, paprika and coriander.

Usually, hummus is served in a shallow bowl. Add a splash of olive oil and a dozen of boiled chickpeas or fava beans in the middle of the dish.

Depending on your appetite, hummus can be eaten as a main dish or dip.

For the main dish, add a boiled egg, pita bread and wedges of onion. Otherwise, use it as a dip for fresh vegetable sticks and serve it as finger food or a starter.

And for those who love meat, don’t shy away from using hummus over shawarma.

This Middle Eastern dish goes well as a spread in wraps with falafels. And even in sandwiches, when paired with roasted Mediterranean vegetables like peppers, courgettes and aubergines.

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